'Lares community trek'

What makes this trip special?

Communities of the Lares Valley

Communities of the Lares Valley

Lares Valley

Incan trails, rarely visited ruins, tumbling waterfalls, crystal lakes, hot springs, high passes below snowy peaks, forests of eucalyptus - this is the quiet world of traditional Quechua communities, many remaining faithful to their culture, ways of life and colourful traditional dress.

A temple-fortress to the Sun

A temple-fortress to the Sun

Ollyantaytambo ruins

The magnificent fortress of Ollyantaytambo stands guard at the far end of the Sacred Valley where trade routes led to the Amazon. The ruins are magnificently set and include a temple to the sun in astoundingly precise Incan stonework, with 6 pink monoliths to catch the rising sun.

The Machu Picchu train

The Machu Picchu train

Cusco - Ollyantaytambo - Machu Picchu

The almost mythical railway that follows the narrow course of the Urubamba river as it leaves the Sacred Valley and winds beneath the mountains of the Vilcabama that preserved Machu Picchu's isolation for centuries.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Absolutely unmissable. One of the most world's evocative sites, an Incan sanctuary beautifully set among seemingly impenetrable mountains, lost for centuries. Approach it by the Inca Trail, or by rail. Truly wonderful.

Itinerary map for Peru 'Lares community trek' holiday


  • Day      Overnight
  • 1 Quisuarani
  • 2 Huacahuasi
  • 3 Huilloc
  • 4 Machu Picchu
  • For the detail of each day click the ‘Day-by-day’ tab above.

Designer's notes

This is an excellent, less challenging, alternative to the Inca Trail, exploring an area set apart from modern life, before taking the train to Machu Picchu itself.

The trek is based on camping. It can be shortened to 4 days if you cannot spare 5 days.

You can choose to join a shared trek with others, or a private trek with your own guide etc.

Day-by-day itinerary for 'Lares community trek'


Cusco to Quisuarani

By vehicle into the Andes to start an acclimatisation hike on an ancient Incan trails through a narrow canyon, where Inca burial tombs can be seen. Further up the valley you meet the vehicle and drive deeper into the mountains to Quisuarani (4200m), for your first night’s camp.


Quisuarani to Huacahuasi

Early breakfast and set off on foot out of the Quisuarani Valley. You will meet colourfully dressed villagers along the way, and see some of the beautiful weavings the area is known for. The trail borders a reforestation project, home to several endemics. Passing waterfalls and crystal lakes you reach Cuncani where a picnic lunch awaits. In the afternoon you take a short hike over the ridge and down to Huacahuasi and your camp for the night. Those with extra energy can take an Incan trail to Lares hot springs.


Huacahuasi to Huilloc

Now acclimatised, today you head over the highest point of the trek at 4100m and then descend towards the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Taking it slowly, and with time to stop and admire the scenery and beautiful lakes, we hope to make the high pass by lunch for the best views of Mt Veronica’s snowy peaks. After lunch, an old mule trail leads down to Patacancha where a support vehicle waits to take you to the hamlet of Huiloc. Traditional dress is worn by all and Quechua spoken. Tonight you camp in a field by the village. (If you have limited time, you can take the support vehicle to Ollantaytambo, overnight there and catch a morning train to Machu Picchu Pueblo.)


Ollantaytambo & Machu Picchu

Today's walk starts with a short, sharp climb to the rarely visited ruins of Pumamarca. After visiting the site, you carry on following an ancient Inca trail along the many terraces in the Huilloc Valley, walking through eucalyptus forests along the way. Your trek ends at the magnificent Incan ruins of Ollantaytambo. After lunch and a chance to explore, you board the afternoon train to Machu Picchu Pueblo. Check into your hotel with the rest of the afternoon free to explore.


Machu Picchu

First thing this morning you head up by bus to the ruins of Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas. You explore key parts of the ruins with a guide, then there is free time to explore or walk to the Inca Bridge or the Watchman’s Hut. (The short rather strenuous hike up Huaya Picchu behind the citadel requires a permit: ask us as far in advance as possible to apply for this for you.) In the late afternoon you board the train back to Cusco.

Guide prices for 'Lares community trek'

options based on all year low season mid season high season peak season other season
Shared trek (Mar-Dec only) Shared, per person double/twin room £2,490
Prices are per person and include:
  • transfers to the start of the trail
  • all camping equipment (inc thermarests, spacious 2 person tent)
  • communal camp equipment (dining tent, toilet tent, all cooking equipment)
  • emergency first aid kit including oxygen
  • qualified English-speaking guide
  • support vehicle each evening and on call during the trek
  • porters and cooking team
  • Skydome or Vistadome train to Machu Picchu
  • guided tour of Machu Picchu
  • meals as indicated
Prices do not include:
  • international flights
  • domestic flights
  • travel insurance
  • items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, laundry, etc
  • additional permits for Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain (optional)
  • entry fee to Ollyantaytambo ruins
  • sleeping bags

Customer reviews for 'Lares community trek'

Recent reviews are shown here from holidays based on this initial design. In each case the itinerary may have been modified (a little or a lot) to suit the individual traveller.


Seasonal information for 'Lares community trek'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall
1 Quisuarani 13°C rainfall 147mm
2 Huacahuasi 15°C rainfall 142mm
3 Huilloc 15°C rainfall 150mm
4 Machu Picchu 22°C rainfall 187mm

Typical weather for January


Max °C figures are the average daily maximum temperatures for the month. Rainfall is the average precipitation for the month.

Hotels for 'Lares community trek'

Days 1 - 3

Camping in Tent

Camping in Tent
Day 4

Killa Inn

Machu Picchu Pueblo

Located a few minutes walk away from Machu Picchu Bus Station. Decorated in a rustic style with nice views of Putucusi Mountain and Urubamba River.

Charming rooms decorated with dark wood furnishings.

Killa Inn